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Tuesday, November 17, 1998 Published at 09:54 GMT

World: Americas

Glenn's second ticker tape parade

John Glenn and his wife Annie wave to the crowds

Astronaut John Glenn has made his second parade along New York's "Canyon of Heroes" in lower Manhattan, where thousands of people congregated to pay him homage after his recent trip into space.

Church bells pealed, marching bands played and the crowds cheered as the 77-year-old space veteran came into sight, seated on the back of an open classic car, waving, with his wife Annie at his side.

The police officer who drove Mr Glenn in the 1952 convertible was the son of the man who drove the space hero 36 years ago.

[ image: They have been feted, but the tests continue]
They have been feted, but the tests continue
Mr Glenn's six fellow crew members from the space shuttle Discovery travelled on floats as confetti and shredded paper cascaded from windows above. All of the team were wearing light blue coveralls.

At the end of the parade, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made the traditional presentation to the shuttle crew members of the keys to the city.

Senator Glenn said it "is something truly indescribable .... awesome" to take part in a ticker tape parade.

'Canyon of Heroes'

The so-called Canyon of Heroes is a narrow strip of lower Broadway lined by tall office towers in downtown Manhattan.

Although the event is called a ticker tape parade, financial institutions no longer use ticker tape to record stock prices, and so a business organisation provided four tons of shredded paper instead.

Mr Glenn's first ticker tape parade after his Mercury flight is considered the largest ever in New York. It was attended by a record four million people, and an estimated 3,474 tons of confetti and ticker-tape rained down along a seven mile (11 km) route.

This time the crowds acclaiming Glenn and the six other members of the crew were visibly smaller than the crowd of one million at a parade to honour the World Series champion New York Yankees last month.

Mr Glenn said he hoped his Discovery trip would inspire both young and old "to think of themselves not as what they cannot do, but to think of themselves as what they can do."

All of Discovery's crew are still undergoing medical tests to complete scientific experiments performed in orbit on weightlessness and its effect on the aging of the human body.

Mr Glenn, who retires from the US Senate next month, joins a list of individuals and sports teams honoured with more than one ticker tape parade.

Others given that tribute include the New York Mets and New York Yankees, former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, Dwight Eisenhower and Amelia Earhart.

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